Malabar ready for Theyyam

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Kannur, Oct 26 (UNI) For the next seven months, 'Kavus' (sacred groves), ancestral households and shrines of north Malabar will resonate with the sound of ritual dance, which will be performed to the accompaniment of the 'Chenda', with the Theyyam season beginning from today.

Artistes, in their colourful costumes, awe-inspiring headgears and face designs will enchant the people of the north Kerala in the following months.

'Theyyam' is the tenth day of Malayalam month of ''Thulam''. The season begins with the Theyyam performance at Kolacheri Chathampalli Vizhakandan temple, Neelaswaram Anjukambalam Veeran temple and Nambram Muchilot Bhagavathi temple in Kannur and Kasargod districts.

Theyyam is a combination of dance, music and ritual. Vannan, Malayan, Koppalan, Mavilan, Anchootan, Velan, Chunkathan are the important Theyyam castes.

Theyyam, a variant of the word 'Daivam'(God), still captivates the psyche of the people of the region as performers ''transform'' into deities.

Kaliyattam, as the Theyyam festival is popularly known in this part of the region, is held with the intention of ushering in prosperity.

There are nearly 450 'Theyyams' representing various local deities, legendary and mythological characters. Some of the Theyyams have a distinct influence of the Muslim tradition of the region and also depict Muslim figures such as Alichamundi, Bapiran and Ali.

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